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17 April 2012

Goodna girl Leanne Holland's murder still unsolved

Leanne Holland
TWO years after the investigation into the murder of Goodna schoolgirl Leanne Holland was reopened, Graham Stafford is still waiting to clear his name.

Mr Stafford was put behind bars for the murder of Leanne Holland in 1991 before he was paroled in 2006.

Leanne was only 12 when her battered and tortured body was found in bushland beside Redbank Plains Rd in September 1991.

Mr Stafford has always strenuously denied he didn't kill Leanne.

His murder conviction was quashed in 2009 and a retrial was ordered, but the Director of Public Prosecutions ruled in March 2010 that it would not proceed.

In May 2010, the investigation was reopened and a cold case review was put in place, starting with a forensic examination of the house Leanne lived in.

She lived in Alice St, Goodna, with her father Terry, sister Melissa and Mr Stafford, who was Melissa's boyfriend at the time.

In October 2010, a police officer travelled to the United States to use the latest forensic technology.

The new investigation was conducted by the Brisbane homicide squad and it was expected a report would be handed to the police commissioner early this year.

Graeme Crowley, a private investigator and co-author of Who Killed Leanne?, was baffled by the lengthy delay in making the report public.

"The original investigation took three days. This one has taken almost two years," Mr Crowley said.

Mr Stafford could not be contacted for comment but he has repeatedly said he was determined to clear his name.

"Someone is out there who is responsible for Leanne's murder and should be behind bars," he said in 2010.

"I also want an inquiry into the police investigation.

"You can't leave a serious crime like that hanging.

"The most important thing is to find out who killed Leanne and put them where they belong."

Mr Stafford's mother Jean Stafford said it was difficult waiting for an outcome, especially not knowing what was happening with the investigation.

"It just seems so funny that it would take so long. I can't understand it," Mrs Stafford said.

"It didn't take them long to put him in jail.

"I still don't know what's going on. No one has spoken to us.

"They spoke to Graham at the start but they haven't since.

"That's the hard part - not knowing what's going on," Mrs Stafford said.

A police spokesman said the investigation was still going and there was no date set for when it would be finished.

"This is a thorough review in which investigators are keeping an open mind and will consider all lines of inquiry," the spokesman said.

"The QPS is unable to estimate a completion date for the investigations.

"As with any ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate to provide specific details about the techniques and procedures being used.

"We will be able to comment further once our investigations are complete or there is a specific investigative need to do so," the spokesman said.

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